Orange and Blue Debut Muschamp Press Conference Notebook

The Orange and Blue Debut had a different look this year. Due to injuries along the offensive line, the annual spring game was changed into more of an open practice format rather than an actual scrimmage.

Will Muschamp met with the media after the days festivities and talked about how not only the team looked today but the progress they made the entire spring and what to expect moving forward.

  • Muschamp kicked off his press conference with mentions of Rex Grossman and Mike Pearson who were both inducted into the Florida Hall of Fame last night.
  • He also mentioned the Florida Players network. The FPN is a group of former players who have come together to help all former Gator football players out once their playing days are done.
  • Muschamp said he was pleased with the day overall and that they did the best they could with the format being the way it was.
  • There are 117 days until the football team will be officially allowed to get back together but Muschamp and his staff will be conducting “exit interviews” with the players to define their roles on the team.

On Jeff Driskel

  • Muschamp said he is very please with the strides that Driskel has made this offseason.
  • He said Driskel has progressed the most with his command of the offense.

On Receivers

  • Muschamp singled out Demarcus Robinson as a guy who is going to help the Gators this season.
  • Robinson had his left leg heavily taped today and while he didn’t appear to be moving at full speed, still showed flashes of the kind of special player he can become.
  • Quinton Dunbar was in a non-contact jersey today because of what Muschamp called a “shoulder situation.”
  • Latroy Pittman was a late scratch. Muschamp said Pittman “laid out for a ball and came down funny.” Pittman should be fine moving forward and was held out today for precautionary reasons.
  • Loucheiz Purifoy was impressive both offensively and defensively today. Muschamp reiterated that Purifoy will remain on offense in some form or fashion moving forward.

On Tight Ends

  • The tight end position is not where Muschamp wants them to be at this point.
  • He praised Kent Taylor for his ability as a receiver but said that Taylor needs to work on his blocking.
  • Muschamp is very pleased with the progress that Tevin Westbrook has made.
  • Muschamp said it was great to get Colin Thompson back on the field.

On Running Backs/Fullbacks

  • Matt Jones didn’t get a whole lot of work today by design. He said Jones had an “outstanding spring” and the coaching staff wanted to see more from some of the other backs.
  • Muschamp credited Trey Burton as a player who allows the offense to be flexible in what they do because of his scheme versatility.
  • Muschamp said Hunter Joyer is “going to be a really good player”
  • Gideon Ajagbe and Rhaheim Ledbetter were initially brought in to take some of the load off of Joyer but Muschamp saw enough from them this spring and thinks they could get some production from the duo in the fall.

On Offensive Line

  • Muschamp said he was proud of the offensive line for handling injury issues this spring.
  • Muschamp singled out transfers Tyler Moore and Max Garcia as two players who will help the team in the fall.

On Defensive Line

  • Muschamp said that if the season started today, Dominique Easley would play inside.
  • Muschamp is comfortable with Leon Orr, Damien Jacobs and Darious Cummings but said they need to be more consistent.
  • Muschamp is excited to get Ronald Powell back.
  • Muschamp singled out Bryan Cox Jr., Jon Bullard, Dante Fowler Jr. and Alex McCalister.

On Linebackers

  • Muschamp is comfortable with Antonio Morrison at Mike LB.
  • Muschamp also named Darrin Kitchens and Mike Taylor as players who have played well this spring.
  • The Gators are desperate for depth at linebacker but should get Alex Anzalone back for the fall and the incoming freshman will give the Gators depth.

On Secondary

  • Muschamp said he feels very comfortable with the cornerback position.
  • He said that Jaylen Watkins, Marcus Roberson and Loucheiz Purifoy are three guys who not only can start but, “line up and get us to Atlanta.”
  • Brian Poole was singled out as being a guy who was “very effective” in the spring.

On Kickers

  • Muschamp is pleased with the talent level he has at kicker but needs both Brad Phillips and Austin Hardin to be more consistent in the kicking game.

Injury Notes

  • Ronald Powell, Ian Silberman, Cody Riggs, Matt Rolin, Chaz Green, Alex Anzalone, Latroy Pittman, Jon Bullard and Jeremy Brown all did not participate today.
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Nick de la Torre
A South Florida native, Nick developed a passion for all things sports at a very young age. His love for baseball was solidified when he saw Al Leiter’s no-hitter for the Marlins live in May of 1996. He was able to play baseball in college but quickly realized there isn’t much of a market for short, slow outfielders that hit around the Mendoza line. Wanting to continue with sports in some capacity he studied journalism at the University of Central Florida. Nick got his first start in the business as an intern for a website covering all things related to the NFL draft before spending two seasons covering the Florida football team at Bleacher Report. That job led him to GatorCountry. When he isn’t covering Gator sports, Nick enjoys hitting way too many shots on the golf course, attempting to keep up with his favorite t.v. shows and watching the Heat, Dolphins and Marlins. Follow him on twitter @NickdelatorreGC